Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Picture Book Roundup - funny bone ticklers

It's been a while since I've done a picture book round-up.  Here are few guaranteed gigglers for a variety of ages.

Long, Ethan. 2012. Up! Tall! and High!. New York: Penguin.

Featuring three simply drawn, brightly-colored birds, Up! Tall! and High! (but not necessarily in that order) is a hoot. With vocabulary simple enough for a very beginning reader or a book for toddlers, the three birds contemplate their sizes and abilities with a dry humor reminiscent of Ten Apples Up on Top.  Punchlines in the three 8-page "chapters," are delivered visually - with foldouts, facial expressions or sight gags. Cute!

Vail, Rachel. 2012. Piggy Bunny. Ill. by Jeremy Tankard. New York: Feiwel and Friends.

With an opening setup like this, how can Piggy Bunny not be funny?
Liam was just like all the other piglets except for one thing.  All the other piglets wanted to be pigs when they grew up.  Liam wanted to be the Easter Bunny.
Even though "salad remained a challenge," Liam believed in himself, and so did his grandpa, and so will you!  The story is hilarious, and Jeremy Tankard's "ink and digital media" illustrations are a perfectly droll complement to a very funny story.

Rosenthal, Amy Krouse. 2012. Chopsticks. Ill. by Scott Magoon. New York: Disney Hyperion.

If you were a fan of Spoon (and who wasn't?), you'll love Chopsticks,  "Not exactly a sequel to Spoon.  More like a change in place setting."

I'm a sucker for puns, and Amy Krouse Rosenthal knows how to set them in their place. With shocked utensils watching,  the unfortunate Chopstick snaps.  The stunned assemblage watched as Chopstick
was quickly whisked away. 
(Cue the earnest whisk, racing for the doctor with the snapped  utensil cradled in his wires.)
The others all waited quietly.  No one stirred, not even Spoon.
(Yes, our dear friend, Spoon, pictured here in the medicine chest being comforted by a bandage.)

But not to worry!  Things will work out for the best.  Perhaps there will even be a call for a toast (with butter!) before this story's ended.   Irresistible!

and to wrap things up, some laughs for a slightly older crowd ...
Catalanott, Peter. 2012. Question Boy Meets Little Miss Know-It-All.  New York: Simon & Schuster.

Question Boy - perhaps you've known one.  If so, you can imagine this conversation,

"What are you doing?" Question Boy asked.
"I'm filling a tank with oil so the people who live here will have hot water and heat when they need it."
"Can I see the tank?"
"There, my work here is finished," Oil Man said.  "What? No, you can't see the tank.  It's in the basement.  Even I've never seen it."
"How do you know it's there?  What if someone took the tank for a drive?"
"Ah!" Oil Man said.  "It's not an army tank!"
"How do you know if you've never seen it?"
And perhaps you've known a Little Miss Know-It-All as well,

"Kangaroos can't walk backward!" Ketchup was once sold as a medicine!  A giraffe can clean its ears with its tongue! Hummingbirds can weigh less than a penny! ..."
Now, imagine what happens in the park when Question Boy goes head-to-head with Little Miss Know-It-All!  It's the quest for knowledge vs. knowledge itself. Question mark vs. exclamation point. Boy vs. girl.  Which will win?  You'll have to read it to find out!

(just be sure to read the back jacket for an important footnote that should have been included within the book's pages)


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